Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

Constructing Animal Locomotion from New Thermodynamics Theory



Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.


If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:



Abstract:

Figure 8. During flight...Click to Enlarge Image

At first glance, running, swimming and flying appear to have a number of differences, and these have long been explored by biophysicists. Now a different approach borrowed from engineering offers a view of the shared physical properties of these types of animal locomotion. Taking a cue from the thermodynamic principles used to engineer efficient vehicles, the authors find that despite the mechanical differences between them, these movements all come down to gravity, density and mass. Animal locomotion, like any other flow of material, is optimized by evolution to travel the greatest distance while expending the least amount of energy. The authors have developed an analytical formula that they say can predict many functional characteristics of animal shape and locomotion, such as speed or force of stride, based on mass. Their theories could have implications for understanding the patterns of animal evolution.


Connect With Us:

Facebook Icon Sm Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon RSS Feed

Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand: Holiday Special!

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


Read Past Issues on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.


RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.


Write for American Scientist

Review our submission guidelines.


Subscribe to American Scientist